Did the Chixulub Impact Make the Oceans Erupt More? – #365papers – 2018 – 43

Byrnes and Karlstrom, 2018, Anomalous K-Pg-aged seafloor attributed to impact-induced mid-ocean ridge magmatism: Science Advances, v. 4: eaao2994

What’s it about?

The Chixulub Impact is the event linked to the extinction of the dinosaurs. The authors here show that at the same time as the impact, ocean floor spreading increased for just a little while. They hypothesize that the seismic waves caused by the impact resulted in the mobilization of molten rock, leading to this increase in volcanic activity.

Why does it matter?

Some scientists have argued that the Chixulub Impact caused the massive flood basalts of the Deccan Traps (which are on the opposite side of the Earth from the crater, but not exactly directly across). The timing and position of the Deccan Traps are close, but not sufficiently similar to satisfy many scientists of their relatedness. This paper shows fairly clearly that at least some volcanism can be directly related to the Chixulub Impact.

Why did I read this?

This paper zipped through the interwebs, showing up on several of my feeds over a couple of days. Therefore, I felt obligated to read it!

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